From Washington Post's The Answer Sheet:
This portion of the article says it succinctly: "The parent trigger law is misnamed as a “Parent Empowerment bill.” It should rightly be called the “Corporate Empowerment bill.”
Horace Mann must be rolling over in his grave.This is Jeb Bush's baby, along with other bills passed this session. He and his "Foundation for Florida's Future" have had a great time with this legislature and all its Rick Scott Republicans.
The proposed legislation, commonly called “the parent trigger bill,” is a vehicle that allows parents of students at low-performing schools (so graded by the state) to petition the state or school district to allow these schools to be taken over by private companies or charter school operators.
Most major parent groups in Florida such as the Florida PTA, Orlando-based Fund Education Now, Support Dade Schools, Save Duval Schools, and 50th No More, oppose this measure. Research shows and parents know that real school improvement comes from strong collaboration with school leaders, teachers, parents and others. Reform should be a collaborative discussion and decision-making process.
In contrast, the parent trigger is designed to give private companies and charter management organizations an open invitation to exploit parents and take over schools — destroying school communities. Rather than a grassroots process, it’s an Astroturf mechanism by which companies circulate petitions to take over schools. This idea is being pushed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s education foundation, with support from the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the James Madison Institute.
From The Florida Independent:
The Miami Herald reports Tuesday that, during the current legislative session, former governor Jeb Bush, “and his nonprofit organization, the Foundation for Florida’s Future, have helped to fast-track a stream of legislation that could reset the education equation in Florida. The bills, moving steadily through both the House and Senate, could gradually shift the financial and competitive advantage away from traditional public schools to private schools and charter schools, which are often managed by for-profit companies. Other proposals push virtual-learning initiatives.”Here's the kicker paragraph, and one that breaks my heart and my spirit as a retired teacher.
.."The parent trigger bill filed by GOP members of the state House and Senate would allow “parents of students assigned to certain underperforming public schools” to petition their school district to implement a “school turnaround option selected by parents.”
Supporters of SB 1852 have touted the importance of non-traditional public schools in Florida, the need for equitable funding for public schools and charter schools, many of which are privately run. They also point out that President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan support charter schools, making it a non-partisan issue.Kathleen Oropeza of the Tallahassee Democrat points out that it is a power grab.
The Parent Empowerment in Education Act (SB 1718, HB 1191) is supposed to open the door to a whole new level of communication between parents and the schools. But this is the infamous California "Parent Trigger," and the "communication" it opened there was brutal.She then lists the dangers of this "parent trigger" power grab.
Instead of empowering parents, the "parent trigger":And since it is a "non-partisan" issue with leaders of both parties on board (to heck with what the teachers and non-astroturf parents think)...they will succeed in their mission of getting more public schools turned into charters.
• Uses parents as a tool to pull the "trigger" and hand a neighborhood school over to a for-profit charter management corporation.
• Takes power from parents, leaving them to resolve disputes long distance with out-of-state charter management boards.
• Strips power from parents, voters and taxpayers.
• Takes neighborhood schools away from the jurisdiction of duly elected district officials.
• Allows a small group of people to make a major fiscal and education decisions for everyone else's children.
• Makes no provision for returning the school to the district, robbing Florida taxpayers of a significant capital investment.